Companies subject to India’s new data protection law should assess practical implications.
The Indian parliament enacted India’s first comprehensive data protection law on 11 August 2023, namely the Digital Personal Data Protection Act 2023 (the DPDPA). The DPDPA will replace India’s existing patchwork of data protection rules[i] and is expected to trigger significant changes in how companies subject to Indian data protection laws process personal data. However, the law is not yet operational; no effective date has been established and there is no official timeline for the overall implementation. Stakeholders expect the law to come into force in a phased manner in the next six to 12 months, after:
- an independent agency responsible for enforcing the DPDPA — the Data Protection Board of India (the Data Protection Board) — is established; and
- the Indian government has framed the subordinate rules (which are expected to provide interpretative guidance on procedural steps and enforcement methodology).
The DPDPA is “umbrella” legislation, as it sets out only a high-level framework for India’s new data protection regime, with supplementary rules expected in due course. Though the new law is not yet operational, companies subject to the new law are advised to begin assessing potential practical implications at an early stage.